- In our daily life, concrete is very important. Often, it is the ground beneath our feet.
- At v.d. Bosch Beton they are working on making concrete more sustainable and innovative.
“Our aim as a family business is not to be the biggest, but to be the very best,” says Jan-Dirk Staman, director and owner of v.d. Bosch Beton. “We supply a variety of government agencies, such as municipalities, provinces, and Rijkswaterstaat. Quality is leading to those types of customers.”
“They want to be unburdened, buy high-quality goods and make a decision that they don’t have to revise later on. They are looking for a supplier who thinks and grows with them. Anything we cannot do yet, we develop at v.d. Bosch Beton. We do this with our development teams. That sounds very elegant, but it is straightforward: if we don’t have something, how will we make it? We do this by putting our heads together: a consultation between, for example, a machine driver, a manager and a mechanic. Then you have three experts together, and you use their experience and knowledge to develop something good. They also like to think along.”
Those development teams within v.d. Bosch Beton has not been idle lately. Staman: “The production of cement for concrete emits a lot of CO2. This is because of the entire chain, from extraction to processing. So, the less cement used, the better for the environment. We wanted to do something with that. We came into contact with a party who had created concrete without cement in a laboratory. We wanted to test that on a larger scale. We started testing with small test areas and, when that went well, took the step to run a test with grass concrete for the province of Overijssel and at the University of Twente. After long-term monitoring, it turned out that this works. We can now supply all our products, from bricks to tiles, in cementless concrete. Fortunately, we also see the importance of sustainability increasing industry-wide: the focus is no longer always on what it costs but on how clean it is. We now have suitable products for that.”
v.d. Bosch Beton focuses on market demand, such as the demand for more sustainable, smarter and cost-effective products. “Water management has been an important challenge for years,” Staman explains.
“Current water-permeable pavement often requires a lot of maintenance and therefore costs time and money. Such a system is not good enough; it must be possible to do it smarter. That is why we have entered a partnership with TenCate, TAUW and Rotim. By joining forces, you achieve something beautiful. The result is our AquaBASE water buffer system: a foundation with hollow spaces under the ground, bearing capacity and stability. The water drains into it via a gutter, and the gutter filters automatically, so it’s low maintenance. And AquaBASE is very stable so that the ground does not subside. We return the collected water to nature. This is how we complete the sustainable circle. There are now 1,900 square meters of AquaBASE under the tramways in Amsterdam, and we are in talks with Schiphol to take care of the taxiways.”
The company v.d. Bosch Beton is much more than just the trucks filled with concrete bricks you regularly see driving by. Staman: “We are always developing. I think that is also inherent in running a family business: you are always sharp and monitor developments. For example, we now see that paving with mixed stone colours is very popular. That is why we have developed a ‘converter machine’: a robot that can automatically mix four colours and is connected to a computer program. This way, you can see the result digitally and adjust it as desired. And then the product is laid mechanically. There is no manual work involved anymore. Beautiful, right? We have been around as a company for over 100 years, but nothing is old-fashioned with us!”